And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. -Philippians 1:9-11
Legend has it that 500 years ago Martin Luther used a poster, a hammer and nails to announce to the world that God loves us. The church in Wittenberg became the social media platform for his 95 Thesis and the spring board for the entire Protestant Reformation!
Throughout the reformation, Luther and others, had this goal: to make faith accessible. Luther realized that a top-down approach of the church (where the priest holds all the information and shares it, on a need-to-know basis, with parishoners) doesn’t work! Instead, Luther knew, that the gospel was intended to be in the hands of the people! The good news, that Jesus loves you, is meant to be experienced, discovered and shared every day, by everyone!
Luther also knew that in order to get the gospel into the hands of the people, a few things would need to change. Luther met this challenge through the social media platform of his day: the printing press. Luther translated the Bible into German — getting God’s words into the hands of the people. He wrote hymns, understanding we easily learn & proclaim God’s love through music. And knowing we sometimes need help understanding what we’re reading, Luther wrote the Small Catechism to equip parents to teach their children.
What tools do we have to learn and proclaim God’s love?
Some items in our ‘toolbox of faith’ remains the same – we can still look to our leather-bound Bibles and hymnals to learn and share Jesus’ love. And of course, you can pull your dusty catechism off the shelf (there are really great things in there!)… but technology has blessed us with a variety of wonderful resources, too! Luther’s platform included the printing press and a hammer; ours includes smartphones and the internet. While our social media platforms have evolved & changed, this goal of the Reformation, making faith accessible, continues today.
Bible Study Material
YouVersion Bible App ~ Now take the whole Bible with you wherever you go. Includes daily verses and images to help you engage in Scripture regularly.
Working Preacher ~ Read insightful articles written for the weeks lectionary. Or listen to the Sermon Brainwave to hear how a pastor may want to preach on the text.
Enter the Bible ~ Dive into any book of the Bible using this in-depth free commentary.
Other Resources On the Web
Bethel ~ Listen to the most recent service or keep up to date with our calendar.
ELCA ~ Our denominational website, filled with helpful tips, articles & photos.
Luther’s Small Catechism– Take Luther’s Small Catechism with you wherever you go using this helpful app.
Vibrant Faith @ Home ~ resources for the entire household. Tips, liturgies, traditions and articles to help guide the Spiritual life of the entire family! Broken up into lifelong ages/stages.
Daily Household Devotionals ~ Connect your household devotionals to the reading from Sunday morning. Takes just 5 minutes!
Living Lutheran ~ an online publication of the ELCA, blog-style, a great faith-based online magazine!
Facebook ~ What better way to keep in contact with Bethel, family & friends!